Released: 2004, Regain Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Dark Funeral has recently signed with Regain Records and this live (or if you like “best of”) album is their first release on their new label. It contains songs from all of their albums from 1994 to 2001. The live material is taken from the DIABOLIS INTERIUM tour, their South American (Brazil, Chile and Colombia) tour during September 2003.
Erik Lindblom is credited with recording and mixing while Mr. Lindblom and the band did the production together. They have managed to create an almost perfect production and you can hear the audience loud and clear. It almost sounds too clear to be a live show. One can wonder if they have added something in the post-production!? This is the band’s first official live album and all of you who are into the black metal scene probably know who this Swedish band is, so I’m sure they don’t need any further introduction.
Live, Dark Funeral sound incredibly tight and well rehearsed. The music is of course very fast with some calmer passages. The only vocal style that counts here is the black metal one. The music sounds extremely brutal and Matte behind the drums is stunning, I don’t understand how he can hold up the speed for the full show. Lord Ahriman and Chag riffs on straight through this inferno of black metal songs but there aren’t any solos, it’s just rhythm guitar. Emperor Magus Caligula sings with straight ahead black metal vocals almost straight through but you can sometimes sense some nuances. Between the songs he talks in English because they aren’t in Sweden. Even though his English skills aren’t too good it’s nice to hear him talk with his regular voice. It seems there were a lot of people in the crowd that night(s?) because they almost sound louder than the band. As always, when it comes to black metal most of the lyrics are about the devil, death, darkness and evil. Just take a look at the titles then you know what I mean. There are 14 tracks plus one intro on the album and 5 of the songs are from the album DIABOLIS INTERIUM. The rest of the songs are from their older albums. In the info note it says that this should be a “best of tracklist” which I think feels strange when you realize that so many of the songs are from their last studio album.
Dark Funeral is faster, brutal, and more evil than ever. This live album could be a good substitute for all of you who haven’t the chance to catch them live. If you’re interested in hearing how they sound live, I strongly recommend this. One minor thing about this otherwise nice sounding album is that it doesn’t say where the material is taken from. Emperor mentions Santiago, Chile at one time but I wonder if it’s only recorded at one show. The cover looks like a bootleg and they could have worked some more on it. According to the info that came with the CDit says, “this should be the live album of the year”, something I doubt. I will come back at the end of the year to say if the ineffable kings of darkness really have managed to release the live album of the year!